Top Commander: Enemies Bewildered by Iranian Nation’s Turnout
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian nation has always astounded enemies of the country in all critical historical moments, Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri said.
General Baqeri appreciated the epic presence of the Iranian nation in the 13th presidential election, adding that the Iranian people have always astonished the enemies in critical junctures.
"I hope the epic presence of the Iranian nation will be a new chapter in the history of the country to advance the goals and policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to protect and guarantee the national interests in sensitive international situations", he noted.
The top commander voiced the Armed Forces’ full support for Ebrahim Rayeesi’s administration.
In relevant remarks on Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani felicitated Iranian nation for their significant participation in the 13th presidential election, adding that enemies have been disappointed by national turnout.
Iran's Elections Headquarters announced on Saturday that out of over 28 million votes that have been received at the polling stations, Ebrahim Rayeesi has gained more than 17 million votes.
Iranians began voting in the early hours of Friday in a contest among 4 candidates in the 13th presidential elections and also for the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country.
State television showed people's presence at polling stations in several cities and towns, quoting officials that over 59 million Iranians out of the more than 85 million population are eligible to vote.
Polls closed in at 12:00 midnight although the interior ministry had been allowed to extend voting hours until 2:00 am on Saturday to prevent overcrowding due to high turnout. Ballot counting started at midnight and preliminary results are expected within 24 hours of polls closing. The elections were also for city and village councils.
For Iranians, the most pressing domestic issue is the economy. In addition, COVID-19 is still a serious problem for Iran.
In addition to presidential elections, people went to the polls to participate in the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country as well as midterm Assembly of Experts elections in 4 provinces, including Tehran, Khorassan Razavi, Qom and Mazandaran, and midterm parliament elections in several provinces, including Tehran, East Azerbaijan, Gilan, Markazi, Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad and Hamedan.
The Iranian interior ministry on May 25 declared the names of 7 hopefuls qualified by Iran’s vetting body, the Guardian Council, to run in the presidential race.
The 7 approved candidates included Iran’s Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezayee, Iranian reformist politician and former Governor of Isfahan Province Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh, former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Saeed Jalili, Iranian Member of the Parliament Alireza Zakani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati and Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Seyed Amir Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi.
The disapproved candidates had the opportunity to protest at their disqualification vote and the qualified candidates could start their campaign as of May 25 until 24 hours before elections.
Several candidates, including former Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan and former Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi, dropped out of the race in Rayeesi’s favor before the Guardian Council declared its decision on their qualification.
In the past few days, Alireza Zakani and Saeed Jalili announced their pullout from the Friday presidential election in favor of Ebrahim Rayeesi, while Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh declared his withdrawal in support of the main reformist-moderate camp nominee Abdolnasser Hemmati.